I am someone who has hope for the future of humanity. I believe that human knowledge and technology are progressing at an ever increasing rate. Just a little over a hundred years ago, the Wright Brothers flew for the first time. Now we can fly around the globe with relative ease. It was only 43 years ago that we put a man on the moon and now we are sending robots to Mars. What will we be doing 100 years from now?
But it isn’t just knowledge, science, and technology that are changing. Morality is changing too. A century and a half ago, we were fighting a war to end slavery. 100 years ago, we were fighting in the streets to allow women the right to vote. 70 years ago, we were fighting against genocide and racial purity. 45 years ago we were marching for civil rights. Within the last 10 to 20 years we are marching for gay rights. Just 5 months ago, we rallied for reason.
Religion is still a dominant force in the world. There is no doubt about that. But it is changing. The world is getting more secular; atheism is on the rise and religiosity is in decline. Religion will never be completely gone, but someday it will be viewed in the same way most people view those who believe in astrology or voodoo.
I don’t think that day is that far off either. When institutions like the Catholic Church protect and defend those who sexual molest children, people begin to have doubts about the moral value of religion. Religion is pretty much the only reason why people are so hateful toward gays and yet support for gays has never been higher. As the gay community gains more and more support, more and more people will start taking a harder look at their religious beliefs.
Today we have the internet. The religions of the world can’t hide any more. All the bad arguments they have made can now be shown for what they are, bad arguments. A quick Google search can now educate religious believers. The need for special holy people who are needed to interpret ancient texts for the believer is vanishing. Religious believers are starting to read their holy books for themselves without the need for middlemen. This of course leads to atheism. I believe that we are close to the tipping point. We may even see religion take a steep decline in our lifetime.
This is important because it will pave the way for a brighter future. The Dark Ages began when Hypatia of Alexandria was brutally killed by Christians in a manner far more horrific that the alleged death of Jesus. Carl Sagan claimed that had this not happened humanity might be a 1000 years more advanced than we are today.
Religion is holding us back. It is robbing us of the future. The more religion fades from prominence the more advanced scientifically, technologically, and morally we become. The future is almost here, but we have to shape it today.